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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: reverberations from the bombings in boston continue, as the site of the explosions has become the most complicated crime scene in the city's history. good evening. i'm jeffrey brown. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight, we get the latest on the investigation into who was behind the attack, which president obama now calls a "terrorist act." >> brown: three people were killed and more than 150 were injured, many critically. hari sreenivasan talks with a trauma doctor who led a team that treated the wounded.
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>> one of our trauma surgeons ran the marathon and when he finied realized what was happening and came in to operate on some of the patients. >> ifill: and the daily download team looks at social media's role in spreading tragic as well as healing messages. >> brown: then, the supreme court takes up a child custody case that tests the scope of a federal law intended to protect native american families. marcia coyle recaps today's arguments. >> ifill: and a new bipartisan report finds that after 9/11, the u.s. "engaged in the practice of torture" with detainees. we talk with two of the authors. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: the investigation of the boston marathon bombings ramped up today, as police and
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federal agents pored over the crime scene. three people are dead, including an eight-year-old boy, and more than 170 others were injured. a handful of those remain in critical condition at various boston hospitals. newshour correspondent kwame holman begins our coverage of the day after. orter: the morning sun filtered across an empty boylston street today, littered with the remnants of yesterday's marathon and the double bombings that brought it all to an end. >> it kind of looks like a war zone. it's all cordoned off over here where they have a crime scene and so it's pretty shocking to know that there's some kind of a terrorist act occurred here and there are bombs right by the finish line that i had just run across. >> reporter: with a new day came new revelations and new perspective on the bombings. this runner wearing a head camera captured the moment the first bomb exploded as she near it had finish line. (screams) >> get out of the stands! >> reporter: more amateur
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video from a spectator showed the second blast and the ensuing chaos in the bleachers lining the street. at a briefing this morning, federal, state, and local authorities said all such videos and photographs are vital to their investigation and they asked bystanders to submit whatever they have. >> hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs or videos or observations that were made down at that finishine sterday d they're sitting out there amongst everyone that's watching this event this morning. and i would encourage you to bring forward anything. you might not think it's significant but it might have some value to this investigation. >> reporter: overnight, the f.b.i. did search an apartment in a boston suburb and conspiracy theories grew online, some of them involving a shaod doey figure seen yesterday on a roof top. but for now officials said they have no suspects and no motive. instead the f.b.i.'s special agent in argeaid the cas wide open. >> this will be a worldwide
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investigation. we will go where the evidence and the leads take us. we will go to the ends of the earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime and we do everything we can to bring them to justice. >> reporter: federal agents also set the record straight on some widely circulated misinformation about the bombings. >> to dispel any rumors, there were rumors floating around that there were up to seven devices at one point. that's not true. i think that happened as a resu of some suspect packages that were disrupted. but we only have two devices that we're aware of and both of those devices were the ones that were -- that did the damage and were involved in the explosives incident. >> reporter: evidence recovered at the scene indicated the bombs possibly were composed of pressure cookers stuffed with shrapnel and left on the ground in black duffel bags. doctors from local hospitals said the devices were built to do severe bodily harm.
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>> we have removed objects from at least three patients th clearly were designed to be projectiles and built into the explosive device. these objects are ball bearing type or small shot type, just a little larger than b. b. round metallic bead. they are about two to three millimeters in diameter and we have also removed over a dozen small carpenter type nails. >> reporter: dr. george mel may hose is head of trauma surgery at massachusetts general hospital. >> they have undergone major operations, predominantly, unfortunately, amputations because of the devastating affect of the bombs. many of them have been v severe wounds, mostly in the lower part of their body, wounds related to the blast effect of the bomb as well as small metallic fragments
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that entered their body, pellets, shrapnel, nails that these bombs had. >> reporter: nicholas yanni and his wife leanne were standing about ten feet fr where one of the bombs went off. he spoke today from tufts medical center. >> i think i had a pierced drum but nothing major, my eardrums are intact so no major issues on my end. my wife had shrapnel that went through her lower left leg and i think it shattered her fibula and they had to do some work with her and she's got to go in for surgery again tomorrow. >> reporter: inquiries about the victims lit up social media in the immediate aftermath of the blasts as did eyewitness posts about the bombings and other information. and in washington today, the flag over the white house was lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims. and the president made a new
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statement, this time equating the attack with terrorism. >> this was a heinous and cowardly act and given what we now know about what took place, the f.b.i. is investigating it as an act of terrorism. any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror. >> reporter: but mr. obama said the response proves the attackers will not get their way. >> fun to know who we are, what america is, how we respond to evil, selflessly, compassionately, unafraid. in the coming days we will pursue every effort to get to the bottom of what happened and we will continue to remain vigilant. >> reporter: here at the capitol, members of congress put aside partisan differences to mourn the victims and praise the first responders and they vowed the nation will have justice and will not give in to terror. >> federal bureau investigation, department of homeland security are investigating this as
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aggressively as possible. as the president said last night, rest assured that the perpetrators will feel the full weight of justice for this terrible crime. >> for most of us, it's hard to imagine now anyone could even contemplate doing something like this. but, as always, as a nation, we face this sad reality head on and show the world that america does not cower in the face of it. >> reporter: the secretary of homeland security, janet napolitano, said there's no evidence of a wider plot, but extra security measures will stay in effect for now. that was apparent across the country with a heightened state of vigilance. k-9 teams were out in force at los angeles international airport, a terminal was evacuated at new york's laguardia airport because of a suspicious package. and a plane turned back to the gate at boston's logan international airport because a bag wasn't screened properly.
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>> brown: this afternoon, the white house confirmed the president will attend a memorial for the victims in boston on thursday. joining us from boston now is david boeri, senior reporter for wbur public radio. david, what if anything can you add to where the investigation stands now? what leads might be being followed? >> we have a 12 acre crime scene here so they're still poring through that scene. there's going to be problems tonight because we're expecting rain and it is windy as well so some of those fragments are moving dlowg out. but they are working this scene as intensively, they say, as they've worked any crime scene. meanwhile, they're exploring their theories. we had a visit last night to an apartment in revere. it's because one of the people that was hospitalized yesterday had injuries on his hands, burns on his hands that were considered inconsistent with the other injuries of other people so they followed him, he was a
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saudi national, he was in the hospital, they went to his residence in revere and found two otheraudi nationals. it turns out they had visa problems so immigration and customs enforcement took them into custody but it seems as if this is -- this is not where the investigation is going. but you get a sense, in fact, that they're casting a wide net looking for people. evidence has a shelf life and so that saves them from spending more time by dealing with those quickly and moving on. that's past us, but they're looking for more. >> brown: what about the reports that the bombs were composed of pressure cookers. >> yeah. pretty clearly they are pressure cookers, a gallon and a half pressure cookers. now, pressure cookers make both rice and, as it turns out, devastating bombs. you can see recipes for them on jihadi web sites and on anarchist web sites that call them "hell -l hounds." it's a popular explosive device. what seems to have happened here by putting it in the duffel bag
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and the duffel bag being put on the ground, according to sources that we've talked to, it made the devastation less than it might have been. it blew outwards, most the injuries the legs were from the knee downward. it could have been much worse had it been in a tight container, i'm told. >> brown: we saw, david, that law enforcement is asking the public for help in the form of videos, photos, anything. do you have any sense of what kind of response they're getting? >> they're getting a great response. there are hundreds and thousands of pictures and videos that were taken. you know, the social media since 9/11 has expanded. everybody has phones and cameras now and so this is going to taken a enormous amount of work if they'r trng to go through these. this could be very complicated. some people suggest it indicates that they don't have a lot of leads otherwise. but certainly that's one thing that they're looking for. >> brown: speaking of 9/11, i wonder just tell -- give us a
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sense of the mood there today and maybe you can compare it to what happened after 9/11. >> absolutely. i remember 9/12 and 9/12 was a day much like today: brilliant sky, warm. in 2001 on 9/11 boston was a i scene that had no evidence, there were no victims here and so it had been robbed in that sense. today just the opposite. a terrible number of victims and a lot of devastation at that scene. >> brown: and we said the president is coming thursday. what else? are you expecting other services and memorials in the coming days? >> yeah, there are going to be lots of -- well, right now we have three dead. that's the latest. there's going to be just an outpouring in this city. this is -- to understand just the impact here you've got to remember. i mean, this is the celebration of patriots' day. it's a long time new england
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ritual and, of course, it's one of the premier, some call it the premier running event. and the fact that a running event, the premier running event had this devastation that resulted in many people's legs being blown off is sadder and ironic more. >> brown: david boeri of wbur boston. thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour, the investigation getting to the bottom of a complex crime; treating the wounded; tweeting a tragedy; arguing tribal rights; and deciding what's torture. but first, with the other news of the day, here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: a bipartisan group of sena(xus today introduced a sweeping immigration reform bill, after months of negotiations. but in the wake of the boston bombings, they delayed a public announcement until later this week. the legislation is designed to put some 11 million people on a path to u.s. citizenship, and to invest billions of dollars in strengening border security. t also includes a new farm
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worker program and visas for high-tech workers. american airlines was forced to ground its entire fleet this afternoon after its reservation system went down. the grounding triggered major travel delays that rippled throughout the country and abroad. many passengers, like those at american's main hub in dallas/fort worth, were stuck on planes. other customers were unable to make or change their reservations. american operates more than 3,500 flights worldwide each day. a showdown may be looming in venezuela, after a disputed presidential election. president-elect nicolas maduro warned today he will not allow an opposition march tomorrow. he blamed protesters for monday's clashes that killed at least seven people and injured dozens in caracas and other cities. the demonstrators demanded a full vote recount, something elections authorities have ruled out. maduro charged today it's all part of a coup plot, orchestrated by opposition candidate henrique capriles. >> (translated): the results
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were impeccable, they know it, the group that has so much hate within and that yesterday went crazy calling for violence for eople in the street. i can announce here we have defeated a coupe but they are going to continue to destabilize. today i declare the coup defeated. >> sreenivasan: the official results from sunday's election showed maduro winning by 265,000 votes. opposition officials say their count shows that capriles won by more than 300,000 votes. a major earthquake struck southeastern iran today, killing dozens of people. the quake registered a magnitude of 7.7 and was centered near saravan, about 26 miles from the pakistani border. it flattened homes and killed at least 34 people on the pakistani side. in iran, state media initially reported at least 46 killed, but later, dropped any reference to deaths. in economic news, u.s. homebuilders started work on more than a million units in march, the most in nearly five years. and on wall street today, stocks made up a big chunk of yesterday's losses. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 157 points to close well above 14,756.
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the nasdaq rose 48 points to close at 3264. long time n.f.l. broadcaster pat summerall died today in dallas. he hadbeenospilizedince breaking a hip. he worked as a broadcaster for more than 40 years and played ten seasons in the n.f.l. for 41 of those years he called n.f.l. games with john madden. he worked 16 soup super bowls, 21 u.s. open tennis championships. he retiretired in 2002. pat summerall was 82 years old. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: we return again to the bombings in boston. to help us assess what we know about the attack and explain what investigators are looking for now, we turn to juan zuarte, who was deputy national security viser for rrorism unr president george w. bush, and is now the center for strategic and international studies. and don borelli, a 25-year f.b.i. adviser who is now chief operating officer of the soufan group, which consults on security matters.
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juan zuarte, the president said today the investigation is in iten fancy but we know there was a pressure cooker involved, there may have been b.b.s involved, shrapnel and that maybe a circuit board was found that was used as a timer. what does this tell us about the source of this explosion? >> well, enthis is pa o the forensic work that happens now and what authorities are looking for are signatures in the devices themselves that can give them some clues as to who may have been behind the attacks. what this tells us, at least to date, what we know is this was designed to have maximum effect. even though the explosive charge itself wasn't massive. it was designed with the ball bearings and nails and other shrapnel to have maximum impact upon explosion and so what that tells us is that this is more than the work of a mere amateur but it's certainly not sophisticated enough to tell us thatt's the work of a bomb-making mastermind and so this, again, is helpful, it's
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probative, but it doesn't give authorities enough to determine if we're talking about a lone wolf actor or a down-sized al qaeda-inspired attack. >> ifill: don borrelli, you were on the new york city joint terrorism task force and we now know that there are maybe 2,000 tips or more coming into the boston police department and the f.b.i. is helpful? is it a lot to get thugh? >> it's both. we've seen in context of the medical teams talking about the word triage, where they had to triage the wounded individuals. this is the theory going on now with the f.b.i. they're getting thousands of leads from citizens from informants, from our partners overseas, from everywhere and they've got to prioritize those leads and triage them and work the most positive ones first and the ones that are potentially perishable. >> ifill: we have been watching,uan zuarte,
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investigators literally combi the streets on their hands and knees, picking up every little thing. if it rains tonight as the reporter with burr is saying, does that impede the investigation? >> it will a bit. the crime scene is outside. the wind and the rain and the elements no doubt will have an impact so the f.b.i. investigators, the federal and state authorities will r no doubt doing everything possible to gather bits of information and debt raoeuts on the ground before the rains hit. but in addition as we've heard ey're talking to witnesses, they're looking -- the intelligence community is looking back at intel. we've heard, for example, gwen, there was no chatter before the event but keep in mind that before the underwear bomber, umar farouk abdulmutallab, who tried to explode the underwear bomb over detroit there was also at least initially a sense there wasn't chatter before but upon retrospect there were bits and pieces of intelligence data that had not been put together so it's forensic work on the ground
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but intelligence work retrospectively and ospectivy. >>fill: don borrel, we don't have enough information to get into too much speculation but based on your experience with investigating these types of crimes is there any -- are there any signs here that this is a domestically homegrown kind of activity or this something that would only be done by al qaeda or someone else who would usually claim responsibility? >> it's -- in minute it's way to early to tell. there are some things that would lend me to think that it's maybe more homegrown just because of the type of devices used. as mr. zuarte said, ese weren't overly sophisticated devices. they were effective, but not the type of things that we've seen when individuals travel to pakistan, afghanistan and get the training, for example, you compare it to the attempted new york city subway plot in 2009 witwhere the man was going to ue
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t.a.t.p. which he learned to make overseas. so that was a bit more -- took more training, more complicated and had that international aspect to it whereas this -- as 'veeennd heard you can get the recipe for this -- these pressure cooker bombs on the internet anywhere. >> ifill: juan zuarte, you work misdemeanor the white house. is it significant that the president today chose to use the word "terrorism" and "terror" with the when he didn't yesterday? >> it has political significance. keep in mind the u.s. government has a definition under criminal law and otherwise for what terrorism is. i think initially the president wanted to be very careful not to be the first fact witness as to what was happening, not committing to any set of facts or criteria. b i thin oiously seeing what had happened, understanding what the f.b.i. was starting to see, understanding the nature of these explosive devices that he was comfortable and i probably felt a little bit of political pressure to call what it it is, which is an act of terror.
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the real trick here is the white house wanting to calibrate the judgment, not wanting to jump to conclusions and also wanting to send a message of national resilience which is something you've heard consistently not just from the white house but from homeland and counterterrorism officials for the last couple of years. >> ifill: don borrelli, as the nation struggles to find the balance between that kin o reliency and awareness of what might be going on, does it matter that this is a different kind of venue? that is to say a big spectator event where someone knew there was going to be a lot of attention paid? >> well, there's -- you know, it's a double-edged sword. the fact that there are so many spectators, so many cameras that gives the investigative team that many more leads because, as we've heard, there's been so much assistance from the citizens sending in their films, their stills, the video cameras. on the other hand we always lk tse major events as an opportunity for a terrorist to strike so whether it's the super bowl, the marathon, new york new
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year's eve, when you have a lot of people in someone space and a lot of media coverage, this is a recipe for a terrorist attack should they want to take advantage of it because it not only -- you can inflict damage on a lot of people but with the eyes of the world watching you can really is that psychological impact as well. >> ifill: let me ask you to follow up on that. with the eyes of the world watching the officials in boston have made a repeated attempt to get pple to give up their pictures, their videos, their cell phone photos. how -- is that what they have to rely on now to break this case? is that why they're making that public appeal? >> i think they're not relying on any one investigative technique but they're exploring all options. they're going to be using photographs, they're going to be using eyewitness statements, informants, technical information, maybe cell phone, what was going on in the cell phone towers before and after the bombings. so, you know, it's not just the pictures, that's a piece of it.
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but u have to lok at every avenue that could give you potential information to go out and pursue further leads. >> ifill: juan zuarte, we're no longer depending on claims of responsibility by shadowy figures anymore? >> that's right. the fact that you don't have claims or a singh tkhour the nature of the strike itself makes it all together more difficult to determine responsibility and attribute to attack and i think unfortunately that's the world we live in in terms of terrorism. it can be terrorists of any ideological stripe, it could be a lone wolf actor, a netrk set of actors and i think that's unfortunately the world we live in. >> ifill: is it fair to say we have to be prepared for this investigation to continue for some time? >> i think that's right. we need to look back, for example, to the 1990s where you had domestic terrorist attacks that took a long time to figure out. remember the manhunt for eric rudolph, the centennial bomber, something similar to this attack. the unabomber it took a while to figure out who was behind it.
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we've grown accustomed to the al qaeda style attacks where they claim responsibility, where there are signatures to it, fairly easy to attribe. where the responsibility and attributions actually part of the political program and messaging from the terrorist group. this may be a case where the people who perpetrated it don't want to be found and that will prove difficult for the investigation. >> ifill: juan zuarte and don borrelli, thank you both so much. >> brown: now, a firsthand account of the emergency medicine administered to victims, and the challenges they'll be facing. patients were sent to seven hospitals across boston yesterday, including massachusetts general. dr. alasdair conn heads the hospital's department of emergency medicine. ri ske with him short time ago. >> sreenivasan: dr. khan, thanks so much for join us. what can you tell us on the status of the patients that you have? >> we have 12 patients that were admitted to the hospital yesterday following this explosion. last night we listed eight as
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critical and we're now listing seven as critical, although we're hoping that one will improve overnight, so that will leave us with six. four of the patients, unfortunately, had an amputation of one of their lwer extremities. >> sreenivasan: what types of injuries are you seeing in we've heard so much about these lower extremities. one of your colleagues said that you're completing the job that the bomb began. that's correct. >> tha +*frpblgt when they arrid they were complete am stations and it was very obvious in the emergency department and subsequently in the operating room that there was so much damage that these could not be reattached, if you like. and so basically we were completing what the explosion had alreadydon the other injuries did require -- there seemed to be a lot of metal fragments from the explosive device and these caused a lot of damage to the musculature in particularly one
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patient to the blood vesselses supplying the lower extremity. we did have one of the vascular surgeons repair the blood vessels so we're hopeful that we will be able to salvage that limb. it's still a little bit of early days, though. >> sreenivasan: what happens to some of that shrapnel? is it going into the hands of federal investigators trying to pie tother >> absolutely. any material that is going to help in this investigation was handd from the operating room to the appropriate authorities for them to obviously see what they can determine about the people who led to this tragedy. >> sreenivasan: and when you say "metal objects," whuz what does that mean? are these sharp like nails? round like b.b.s? what was in there? >> the one thing that impressed me looking at the c.t. scans and the x-rays as soon as we had them developed was the number of small like b.b.s that were in the wounds. noonly the lower extremities but in some patients elsewhere on the body.
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and dr. velmahos who did a lot of the surgery was saying some metal objects appeared to be like nails that that the head had been cut off in some way. so, again, all of these were collected when we removed them from the patients and give them to the authorities from the operating room. >> sreenivasan: you're the chief of the department of emergency medicine, you train for something like this but how different is it when it comes to your door? >> we train for it. we're very fortunate in boston, we've gone through a lot of disaster drills. but this was the real thing. we certainly see horrific injuries but it's usually one patient at a time and yesterday 12 patients in the course of less than an hour. fortunately we were able to mobilize the resources and within just a few minutes we had five patients from the emergency department right up to the operating room. and those were obviously the most critical patients. >> sreenivasan: what's next for these critical patients? what are you looking for and watching out for in the next 24,
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48 hours? >> what we do in the first operation is obviously salvage as much viable tissue as we can. the patients will be taken back to the operating room almost on a daily basis and we'll be cleaning out the wounds, eventually doing tissue transfers to cover the wounds, skin grafts in other patients and waiting until we can get complete coverage of the wounds. we're hopeful that the -- no more patients will lose a lower extremity, that's what we're hoping for. and that the people who have lost their lower extremity ultimately will be able to be fitted with a prosthetic limb. i will say, one of the orthopedic surgeons here has received calls from patients who he's previously operated on calling up and saying "look, i've been living with my artificial leg, i have a full life, i can walk, i can run, i
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can jog. i would love to come in when the time is right and help people initiate their rehabilitation process." >> sreenivasan: i know you had sent some of your patients across for ear damage. was that from the explosion? >> yes, it was. a blast injury, if they're very close to the explosion, it can literally rupture the eardrum and those patients we sent across to the massachusetts eye and ear infirmary to have their ears more appropriately managed. >> sreenivasan: are there will dangers of concussion wounds for all of these patients, too? >> they were in danger but after evaluation here we felt comfortable that they didn't have any severeconcuson a that we wanted to get them examined to determine if there was any damage to their tympanic membranes and their hearing. >> sreenivasan: what about things like blood pressure considering the loss of blood and limbs and so forth. how do you regulate that? >> well, certainly one of the things that is gratifying was
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the way that e.m.s. and all of the personnel on the scene brought the vary severely injured patients to our emergency department and to other level one trauma centers within the city in a very fast manner. one or two patients had very low blood pressure when they arrived. we gave them blood in the emergency department to bring up their blood pressure and then sent them immediately up stairs. and obviously the treatment is to stop the bleeding, control the hemorrhage and then give them blood transfusions to bring their blood pressure up and normalize. >> sreenivasan: dr. conn in an odd way a doctor i spoke to yesterday said it couldn't have happened in a better location. there was almost an entire medical hospital there at the finish line. >> that's correct. we had -- we have some of our physicians and nurses were manning some of the medical tents along the way and obviously as these -- this explosion occurred things took a
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rather more serious turn. one of our trauma surgeons actually ran the marathon and when he finished realized what was happening and came in to operate on some of the patients. >> sreenivasan: wow. dr. alasdiar conn, thanks so much for your time. >> thank you. >> ifill: technology changed the speed and the accuracy with which we learned of the boston attacks. but it also quickly became a platform for the nation's shock and grief. newshour political editor christina bellantoni talked with our daily download team about that. >> for that look at how technology factored into yesterday's tragedy i'm joined by lauren ashburn and howard kurtz, "newsweek's" washington bureau chief and host of cnn's "reliable sources." thanks for being here. after 9/11 we saw people physically putting up photos of their missing loved ones in lower manhattan. yesterday the internet provided a sense of comfort for some. what did we see? >> well, google person finder factored into this. we have a graph that i can show
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you what it looks like. there's a big button that says "i'm looking for. requests you can type in the name of somebody. or "i have information about" and you can also type in the name of someone. then you can take this tool and embed it on your own web site. so in the aftermath of disaster, howie, it really seems like this tool and others are much more effective than going to the bulletin board near the rld trade towers and scanning the pictures. >> and the tone of twitter where there were about five million tweets in 24 hours accord to the weapon site was very striking because in the beginning when twitter was young journalists looked down their nose, well, anybody can post anything, how do we know it's true? often things were not true. while there were examples of excesses and partisanship i found a really -- twitter has almost grown up. there was a tone of restraint and people saying they were not going to retweet every last bit of speculation and even criticizing the mainstream media for speculating about who was
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behind it. >>ournistsid that too. >> there was a lot of misinformation about there. you see that in the wake of different tragedies. >> not so much now, though. you remember hurricane sandy when there were doctored pictures of a shark swimming through a new jersey neighborhood and the call, as howie said here, was for restraint. a lot of journalists and other people saying "don't retweet things that you don't know to be true." >> there was the "new york post" mistakenly reporting for example that the death toll was 12 and saying there was a saudi suspect when that was unconfirmed. twitr spank it had news organizations that went off the rails. >> and on facebook this became a site where people could check in on their friends that were running the marathon or people that lived up there. you also saw like this online tribute that was created by a d.c.-based designer matt ortega. he posted these sports themed facebook images that you could share with your friends to show solidarity there. >> i saw lots of peoples put together, -- memes put together, a heart of the city put together
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that said "we love you" that had the map of the city on it. it was an outpouring of love as there is often times in this tragedy. but there was also not some very helpful things. there was an underscore boston marathon on twitter that was taken down within an hour because it was fake, they were asking for money and we've seen that a lot in the past. but this one was caught very quickly. >> and not just on facebook but as you were saying before we came on the air on tumblr and instagram you had a sense of community sharing of feeling, sharing sympathy. it used to be television was the place where everybody gathered around the hearth and television played a very important role, broadcast networks going wall-to-wall for a while but now you see that much more online. >> even our own mr. rogers from pbs, this quote he said about finding the helpers, that's a way to comfort children in times of tragedy was going viral. >> i found it very interesting also who was first, you know?
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journalism, part of the problem in breaking news stories is that everybody rushes to be first. well, here it was a twitter picture of someone saying "holy cow" and hashtag explosion. and that was at 2:50 p.m. on monday and then the boston police department didn't confirm it until 3:39! twitter had the actual pictures and eyewitness accounts and t.v. and radio and the net had to really play cash-up. >> there were more people tweeting than there are journalists in the world. >> and you saw some actual physical tributes like this light brigade picture that we have here, the overpass light brigade. this was something that was really shared a lot on social media as well. >> and there were other ones, too, like that. in different cities, there was one in new york that said "n.y. heart" and then a "b." in the boston red sox logo. >> you mentioned the boston police department. that was very aggressive in
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using online in twitter. >> let's talk more about how investigators are soliciting this information from crowds via social networking. this tweet from the boston police department saying that they're looking for video of the finish line. this is unusual. >> they used it more. what i found interesting is if you looked at the boston police department's twitter feed, at 1:38 in the afternoon they put up a picture of runners at the finish line and at -- by the time it was 3:39 they came out with the announcement, they used that twitter feed to get out information like a commissioner what he's saying, what areas are closed, what you can do for loved ones, where you can find things. and the massachusetts emergency management agency said if you're having a problem with your cell phone use your texting and that has less bandwidth. >> but cell service washut down for a while after the bombings, this was the way to communicate for the police and for people using social media.
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>> lauren ashburn, howie kurtz, thanks very much. >> thank you. >> ifill: tribal law, federal law, and the fate of a young girl: the supreme court heard a rare child custody case today. ray suarez has that. >> suarez: the little girl at the center of this case is known as "baby veronica." she's caught in a custody battle, the kind of case normally heard in local courts. but the case was heard today by high court justices since it raises larger questions about federal law because the girl is part cherokee indian. the indian child welfare act was passed in 1978 to protect children and the stability of indian tribes. it allows tribal involvement in custody decisions, so indian children aren't unnecessarily removed from their ethnic origins. marcia coyle of the "national law journal" was in the courtroom this morning, and is back with us tonight. marcia, when people hear
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"custody battle" they tend to thk mother versus ther but this was kind of a three or even four-way legal argument, wasn't it? >> absolutely, ray. you had the lawyer for the adoptive couple here who had custody of the child for about 27 months. you had the lawyer for the guardian add litem for the child and then on the other side you had a lawyer for the biological father of the child and a lawyer for the united states arguing. >> suarez: so why was the indian welfare act -- child welfare act passedn the first place and does the biological father clearly fall under its provisions? >> the act was passed in response to a real crisis. it's estimated that roughly 35% of indian children were being removed from indian families by abusive child welfare agencies and being placed in -- either in adoptive homes or in foster care
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and generally non-indian foster care or adoptive homes. so congress responded to that with this act which doe provide special protections for indian families as well as for indian tribes. >> suarez: was there any argument over what makes someone an indian? >> there really wasn't specific argument about that but there were questions raised, some skepticism about how much of an indian this child is. chief justice roberts, justice alito raised questions about well, this child is three and 256ths of cherokee blood. what if you had a tribe, for example, that decided that it would allow anyone to enroll who did not have any cherokee blood and someone did enroll like that, had a child. would that child then be considered an indian child?
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they posed several hypotheticals trying to get at how far the act really reaches. but as the lawyer for the biological father explained, there are federal requirements for recognition tribes and those hypotheticals are rather extreme. but also -- >> suarez: but this is in issue in this case because -- the father's status as an indian which he's arguing trumps other kinds of claims and other findings in state courts which normally handle custody battles. >> that's right. and there are no blood tests under this act. he -- because he is the biological father, he does fall under the definiti of an indian parent. but the parties do dispute how the act applies in the situation where they claim-- at least the
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adoptive couple claims-- that the biological father here, he was an unwed father, there's an exclusion under the act for parents, unwed fathers who do not assert or establish paternity. the dispute is that the biological father says that he did do that as soon as he was made aware of the adoption pceedgs. the adoptiv couples' attorney claims too little; too late. >> suarez: the non-indian couple, the cupel from south carolina who adopted the little girl. it appeared from the transcript as if some of the justices weren't all together comfortable with having to make a call in this case. >> i think there really was some discomfort. justice kennedy at one point pointed out that federal -- sorry, state courts, family courts deal with these kinds of problems all the time and he sa thefir family judge really was king soloman and if they could appoint king soloman
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as a special master here they would but they can't. so it clearly is posing some difficult issues for them. there seem to be almost a divide on the court between justices who felt that the language of the law is quite clear, that the father is a parent under the law and that special protections kick in because he is an indian parent and this is an indian child and other justices concerd abt whher e best interests of the child were -- are really considered in this situation. does state law apply at all in making the decision as to who should have custody? so, yes, i'd say that they're uncomfortable with this. >> suarez: there were separate arguments from the lawyers for the adoptive couple. >> right. >> suarez: for the biological father dustin brown and for the guardian appointed by the south carolina state government. what were the central conflicts from these three separate views
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of the law? >> well, the adoive parents' side-- and they are supported by the guardian ad litem in this case-- they argue that even if the father -- even if the father is a parent under the law he has no legal rights. he had no relationship with this child. that the indian child welfare act presumes an existing indian family. it's all geared to preserving an indian family and there was no family here. on the other sid the father and the united states argue that the father does fit the definition of parent and the south carolina supreme court as well as the state family court applied the federal law accurately in refusing to terminate his parental rights. they found that he would provide a loving home and family for the child and met the other requirements of the law.
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>> suarez: the obama administration and many indian tribes came in on the side of the biological father. we'll find out how it all turns out later in the term. marcia coyle, thank a lot. >> my pleasure, ray. >> brown: "it is indisputable that the united states engaged in the practice of torture" after 9/11. that was the starkest finding in a report released today by the constitution project, a bipartisan legal research and advocacy group, after a two-year investigation by a task force of former high-ranking government, military, and law enforcement officials. among much else, the report concludes that the "nation's highest officials bear some responsibility for allowing and contribung to the spread of torture," and that information gleaned via harsh interrogation yielded little valuable intelligence. the report also criticizes the obama administration for what it calls "excessive secrecy." two members of the task force that produced the report join us now.
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james jones, a former democratic congressman and ambassador to mexico, co-chaired the group along with republican asa hutchinson. also with us is david irvine, a retired army brigadier general and former republican state legislator. and welcome to both of you. >> thank you. >> brown: jim jones, indisputable that the united states practiced torture. at the time the justice department said otherwise, that within very strict rules this was not torture. what made you say this was? >> well, an exhaustive study of the laws of court cases, of the practice, of interviews and the summary of all of it was it was indisputable there was torture in many cases. >> brown: just to be clear: you didn't have subpoena power here and so how were you doing it? you said by talking to people? >> wl, t staff a some of the panel members visited several countries, visited the black sites where some of these were in poland, lithuania, et cetera, they talked to
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officials, they talked to detainees themselves, and they did an exhaustive research of the law and the united states has even brought prosecutions for the very same things that we did in some of those sites. >> brown: david irvine, former u.s. ambassador john bolton told the kwra +*eup that "this report is completely divorced from ality." the procedures were in his words "lawyered and lawyered again and lawyered again." >> i think if anyone takes time to read the report they will be overwhelmed by the volume of episodes where representatives of our government, our military brutally, brutally tortured many, many people. not just people who were among the worst of the worst as they had been characterized but often people who were guilty of nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. the claim that this was lawyered
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to death is an interesting claim because we have had years and years and decades of experience successfully interrogating prisoners in tactical and strategic interrogations. we have never had to rely on this kind of approach to get the information that we needed to get to protect the country. >> brown: speaking of the information -- >> i just want to say the lawyering part is one of the criticisms we have. in past wars they say that the generals ran the r. the lawyers ran this war to a great extent and the way by suspended the geneva conventions-- which we have adhered to for years, by violating the convention against torture which president reagan himself proposed and the congress passed and the lawyers tinkering with that in such a way that they did not replace it with anything and so the chain of command, the procedures that would have been in place were
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basically obliterated because of laering. >> brown: a much-debated issue has been one what kind of information came from these practices. you say in the report that some former senior officials insist that the techniques did yield valuable information. you conclude otherwise. >> we studied as carefully as we could from the public record those specific claims. the problem we had as we looked at those was that the timelines don't match up. we could not account for the differences-- sometimes a matter of days, weeks, even many months-- between the critical events of arrest, interrogation, claims of successful gathering of information and breakup of plots. there's no synchronicity to that that justifies the claim that thousands of lives were saved as a consequence of brutal interrogation.
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>> let me just add to that, because we -- the -- some of the top officials that say this torture produced effective information, ty ha the burden of proof. they can't -- we can't just take their word for it. we tried to interview several of those and they refused to be interviewed. so one of the reasons we're calling for declassifying some of this material is that will say yes or no, it was effective or yes or no there wasn't torture. >> brown: and you are critical of the obama administration in that regard for not declassifying. >> right and we hope they will. we hope they'll change their mind. >> brown: were you able to talk to any top officials in among the many people you talked to to find out what happened? and after the fact, after you produced the report, any top bush-era officials about this? >> of course, we just released it today and i haven't talked to any of the former bush administration pa people. obviously asa hutchinson was in the bush administration so this was a tough thing for him to go
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through. but we came to the unanimous opinion as reflected in that report. we did talk to some. david rizzo was the general counsel of the c.i.a., he gave an interview. and we had some others in the military that we talked to. >> brown: but when you say in the report that the nation's highest officials bear some responsibility for allowing and contributing to the spread of torture, what does that mean? what exactly are you calling for? >> well, in a couple of instances, number one, the decision to suspend the application of the geneva conventions in afghanistan was a critical decision that opened the door for all kinds of abuses because there was nothing put in place thereafter that would tell soldiers, for example, what they could or could not do. as a consequence, people became unusually creative and crossed the line from lawful to
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unlawful. the decision to give special permission to the c.i.a. to use enhanced interrogation techniques was a flawed decision. it was based upon a methodology that had been developed by the north koreans and chinese in the korean war as a means of obtaining confessions and false information from american prisoners in those conflicts. >> brown: let me just ask you briefly in the short amount of time here. what do you want to happen now? you've waded into some very controversial territory here and many officials would simply flat out disagree with your results. >> well, we're not after a witch-hunt but we do think the facts need to be laid out there, the american people need to understand it, the congress needs to understand it. because what we want to do is to get back to the values that we had before those decisions were made. respect for law, respect for inteational treies and
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conventions and it can be achieved again but i think before that can be done they have to understand the depth of the activities we took in the name of our government. >> brown: james jones, david irvine, thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> ifill: again, the other major developments of the day. the investigation of the boston marathon bombings ramped up. an eight-year-old boy was among the three dead, with more than 170 injured. investigators indicated there are no suspects and no motive in the bombings. but the head of homeland security said there's no indication of a wider plot. senate majority leader hairy reid confirmed a letter testing positive for ricin was sent toe roger wicker of mississippi. there was no indication that anyone was harmed. >> brown: our coverage of the boston bombings continues on our web site, hari has the details.
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>> sreenivasan: some of the most gripping photos taken on the scene yesterday were captured by a photographer from metrowest daily news, a suburban boston paper. find those and photos of tributes across the nation on our home page. also there, a firsthand account from a volunteer doctor who was stationed five feet from the finish line. he was one of the first responders to treat the wounded. all that and more is on our web site, jeff? >> brown: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, the investigation continues into who was behind the boston bombings. i'm jeffrey brown. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> macarthur foundation.
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. ank u. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh
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PBS News Hour
PBS April 16, 2013 5:30pm-6:30pm PDT

News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown. (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Boston 23, Us 14, Juan Zuarte 5, Brown 4, U.s. 4, Don Borrelli 3, Suarez 3, The F.b.i. 3, Marcia Coyle 3, Massachusetts 3, New York 3, South Carolina 3, Gwen Ifill 2, Maduro 2, David Boeri 2, Pat Summerall 2, United States 2, Pbs Newshour 2, Obama Administration 2, Macneil Lehrer 2
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